Question: Should I drink alcohol before a gig?
If you can help it, no, you shouldn't drink alcohol before a gig, and I'll tell you why.
I know gigging can get nerve wracking sometimes, and it's often the easiest option to turn to alcohol in an attempt to calm your nerves. That said, drink can actually hinder your performing and make you sound worse. I'm guessing you want to give the best impression of yourself out there on stage, so why do anything to jeopardize that? Remember, music is a business, so you should always do what you can to appear professional in all situations.
Even if you don't drink to get drunk before your gig (The effects of that are obvious), alcohol can still have a negative effect on your voice before a show. These include:
- Too Much Mucus And Saliva.
Alcohol often makes your body produce excess mucus, which will in turn clog up your mouth and hamper your vocal efforts.
- Slower Reaction Times.
We all know you can't drink and drive due to slowed down reaction times, the same is the case here. If you still want to perform in time, drink is not recommended.
- It Causes Dehydration.
If you're performing in a hot venue, dehydration can be a very real danger to your health and well being. Fainting and heat stroke are both side effects of dehydration and heat, and alcohol only stimulates this. So forget that drink of booze, and reach for a big glass of water instead.
Whether you drink for the social effect or to get rid of pre-gig nerves, you should try to cut alcohol out of your ‘before the gig' routine. After all, if you've gone through all the trouble to get the gig, you'll want to make sure it all runs smoothly.
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What If You Only Have One Or Two Drinks?
So, if you're not planning on getting totally wasted before a gig, is it ok to have one or two drinks just to calm the nerves? Well, that's really down to you. If you do decide to do this (Despite the above mentioned hindering factors), just make sure you're strong willed about it.
You may think you'll have those initial drinks just to get rid of your pre-gig nerves, but when you're still nervous about performing, you may go and get more. In reality, often drink won't calm you down or get you ready for the show…
If the 1 drink helps and doesn't hamper your performance, by all means do it. But if you've had one or two and you still feel nervous, consider cutting them out all together and looking for other non alcoholic ways to deal with this. Such as:
Alternatives To Drinking Before A Gig
So, if you shouldn't be drinking before a gig, what could you do instead to prepare yourself for a performance?
Well one thing I always suggest is gigging more often. Yes this may sound weird considering you're nervous about performing, but the more you do something, the easier it becomes. Get small venues to play at, and perform in front of small crowds for free to get your confidence up. Once you've done that, work your way up to bigger gigs and they won't be as intimidating.
You should also drink plenty of water to keep your voice in shape, and initially try and keep your mind off the gig when you're waiting to go up. This can be in the form of talking to others, being on your phone playing games, or anything else you can think of that will temporarily distract you. Just make sure you're not too distracted to realize when it's your turn to go on stage.
Should I Drink Alcohol Before A Gig Conclusion
Drinking before a gig isn't ideal, and should definitely be avoided. By all means drink after a gig if you want, but considering drinking before could put a downer on your performance, only consumer the drinks you come across once your performance is done. You music career is a business, so remain professional and treat it as such.